About Capo Zafferano and its coves.
The coastal stretch of Capo Zafferano, a small promontory overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea within the municipality of Santa Flavia, is not to be missed as it is particularly scenic; in it there are numerous coves among the rocks, many of which offer splendid views of the unmistakable profile of the cape. The sea that bathes the small beaches is beautiful, crystalline, transparent and with shades of emerald. Capo Mongerbino which is at the end of the Gulf of Palermo, is 2 km far from Aspra, and Villa Flavia B&B is within this distance from restaurants, pizzeria and all kind of shops.
The cove is located on the east side of Capo Zafferano, the position together with the conformation of the rocky coast mean that the water is almost always calm, as well as the people who frequent it. If you like to enjoy the sea in peace, if you want to read a book, this beach is perfect, there is never too much noise or wind. Capo Zafferano, where Three Cala del Cuore pools are located, is certainly one of the most beautiful in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The waters of the cove are always clean. It is certainly the cleanest of the beaches of Santa Flavia and Bagheria. For lovers of Snorkeling and Diving it is the perfect place, the seabed is beautiful, the water is emerald green. They call it Cala del Cuore because there is a large red heart that welcomes bathers and because it is a place much loved by the inhabitants.
Coves, inlets, beaches, rocky ravines, are one more beautiful than the other. The sea takes your breath away and the snorkeling is super! There are many places to stop. The "three swimming pools" beach is a sight. All around you will find limestone cliffs, a fragrant Mediterranean scrub, paths, rocky stretches, ravines and caves to discover and …… .who have more, more. You choose your "magical place".
Boat Tour Capo Zafferano
Bagheria and its Villas.
Bagheria is located at 15 kilometers from Palermo, in north-west Sicily.
The town is best known for its imposing villas, but there are also other monuments of interest to discover.
When the local aristocracy first abandoned their castles they moved to cities, especially Palermo, which soon became decorated with magnificent palaces. Later the nobles wanted to moved their city comforts into the countryside, and Bagheria was chosen as a privileged area, among the hills that stretch towards the sea.
Some of the nobles even changed the appearance of the hills, clearing them so that their luxurious villas could be seen in all their grandeur. An example can be seen at Villa Valguarnera, built by Princess Marianna Valguarnera in 1709 and known as the “capital of all the villas of the nobility of Palermo”.
Bagheria or "Baarìa" in sicilian dialect, is a very populous town in Palermo, famous for its wonderful historical villas, its eighteenth-century buildings, and for the movies that were filmed there, as Baarìa by Giuseppe Tornatore or The Wedding Director by Marco Bellocchio. It is also the place where Renato Guttuso was born. The writer Dacia Maraini, related to the powerful princes of Alliata, lived here when she was a child.
Here the Villas of Bagheria:
One of the most famous historical residences in the city is Villa Palagonia, known as Villa of the Monsters. Magnificent and eccentric, planned by illustrious architects, during the 18th century it became the destination of the Grand Tour Travellers and it was known as the “most original place of the world” and “a place famous all over Europe“.
Its walls are decorated with grotesque statues reproducing ugly monsters, anthropomorphous figures, dragons, snakes and scary animals, knights, dames, musicians and various caricatures.
A rumour about Francesco Ferdinando Gravina and Alliata, VII prince of Palagonia, heir of the title and owner of the villa, tells that he had chosen this type of decoration to conceal his extreme ugliness; but more likely this was due to the typical eighteenth-century taste for what was horrid and amazing. You enter the villa through an arch flanked by some statues of warriors. The wonderful double flight of stairs under the sumptuous Family’s coat of arms is very remarkable. Also important is the Room of the Mirrors, with its marble-paneled walls, decorated with reliefs in marble representing the family ancestors and the rulers of Europe.
Its vault is decorated with mirrors and with paintings reproducing fantastic birds, fruit and flowers. The other rooms are frescoed with mythological themes.
“And then, after walking for about hundred meters, you look upwards and you are in front of Villa Valguarnera in all its beauty. A main two-storey building with a series of windows, real and fake, that slide along a playful and severe rhythm. From the central body two wings branch off and form a perfect semicircle” (Dacia Maraini, Bagheria).
Villa Valguarnera belonging to the princes Alliata of Villafranca is a magnificent work of art of the Eighteenth Century. Its layout shows clear esoteric influences, its same shape has been conceived as a symbolic route from earth to heaven, with a particular emphasis on the high ground called ‘montagnola’ where from you can enjoy a wonderful view over Bagheria.
Once we pass the huge iron gate, supported by two pillars in stone of Aspra, we are on the long walkway that leads to the house. The large oval hall, designed by the italian architect Vaccarini, is decorated with frescoes and paintings depicting the famous ancestors of the Alliata’s family.
One of the owners, Prince Francesco, was the founder of the legendary Panaria Film and was honored by Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese.
Recently the villa has been Dolce & Gabbana spot set, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, music played by Ennio Morricone and starring Sophia Loren.
The site is unique and very impressive, not only for its aesthetic beauty and for the harmony conveyed by its architectural forms, but also for the awarness that you are in a placethat belongs to an important part of the Italian cultural history.
The villa, built in 1736 at the behest of Francesco Bonanno, Prince of Cattolica, has a particular style that make it similar to a castle with a quadrangular base.
Its peculiarity is the “Room of Sirocco“, a kind of artificial cave built under the noble home as a refuge for the days when the southern wind blew from Africa.
It houses many significant works by the neo-realist painter Renato Guttuso, born in Bagheria in 1912, that represent his artistic production from the beginning of his career until the last period of his life.
Among them: “Paratrooper”, “Prickly pears” the great “Women come and go in the room” and “Women, Rooms, Objects”.
In the garden there is the artist’s tomb, made by the sculptor Giacomo Manzu.
In 1990 the collection has became the Museo Renato Guttuso and now it displays also many valuable works by contemporary masters such as Carlo Levi, Corrado Cagli, Carla Accardi Antonio Sanfilippo, Angelo Savelli, Salvatore Scarpitta, Edouard Pignon, Sergio Vacchi, Armando De Stefano, Mario Schifano, Franco Angeli.